I’ve never been one to follow the latest fashions or most popular thing going. That must be why I was totally oblivious to the Pumpkin Spice Latte seasonal specials that were highlighted in the Fall by every coffee shop across the country until I started working at Post Falls Coffee Co. in Idaho. Well, that and the fact that I don’t go to Starbucks and I’m not a coffee drinker in general.
When I was first introduced to it, I can’t say I was too enthused about the thought of Pumpkin Pie in coffee. However, it wasn’t long before it won me over. I couldn’t help it. It was Autumn wrapped up in a sleeved paper cup with whipped cream on top.
(My favorite fall drink, though, was Vanilla Chai with Pumpkin Pie and White Chocolate – whipped cream on top. Always whipped cream on top. Life is better with whipped cream on top. )
It’s been a year since I worked for Gabe and Mandy at their fabulous coffee shop, but coffee drink flavors continue to inspire me.
So, I decided, along with everyone else in the cooking blog-o-sphere, that fall colors were calling for something pumpkin. Not pumpkin pie or even pumpkin muffins. This had to be spicy, warm, slightly salted and rather, well, latte-ish. Surprisingly, I didn’t find any recipes that had the combination I wanted.
Ah! Just what I like – a good challenge with a hint of mystery. What happens when you mix pumpkin and coffee with bundt cake ingredients?
The results were quite good, really. Quite. I think you might want to try this for yourself.
I baked one of Mom’s garden pumpkins at 400 degrees for one hour. Perfect!
Scrape out the edible portion, blend it up and Voila! you have pumpkin puree. It’s so simple and easy and better than canned pumpkin. However, if you have canned pumpkin on hand this step is dismissible.
Thinking I’d be super efficient, I proceeded to can the remaining pumpkin that I wouldn’t use in the recipe for Thanksgiving desserts. More on that story later.
Pumpkin Spice Latte Bundt Cake
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Spicy Pumpkin Bundt Cake
- 4 cups flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
- 2 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 c. strong or espresso
- 1 1/2 cups canned or fresh pumpkin puree
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 14-cup Bundt pan and dust with flour. Tap out excess.
Combine dry ingredients. Stir together yogurt and coffee and have your pumpkin – fresh or canned – ready.
Blend together butter, sugar and eggs. Add pumpkin. Alternate between coffee mixture and the dry ingredients as you mix it all into the pumpkin. Stir until smooth.
Pour into prepared pan and bake at 350 for 55 minutes or until wooden pick comes out clean. Let cool for 30 minutes on a cooling rack before flipping over and removing pan.
Salted Caramel Sauce
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Melt butter. Add sugar and cream and bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Lower to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickly coats a wooden spoon. Add salt and whisk in.
Slice cake, top with whipped cream and drizzle with caramel sauce. Serve with a latte if you so choose.
Now I have to tell you about my canned pumpkin. It was so beautiful orange in the jars and they all sealed nicely, so I put them up on the shelf with the other canned goods excited to take them to my grandparents in Arkansas for Thanksgiving.
A few days later, I was tying my trail shoes on, when I heard a hissing sound coming from the shelf. Then I smelled something. Out came the step ladder and up I went only to find that the pumpkin had fermented and was making it’s way out of the now unsealed jars. Oh my! I carefully took them down and outside. If they were going to blow, it would not be in the house! Releasing the pressure didn’t make too much of a mess, thankfully, but all the pumpkin was totally wasted. So sad!!
My big question is WHY? What happened? And I still haven’t found definite answers. I did search “canning pumpkin” and most people say NOT to can pureed pumpkin or pumpkin butter. Apparently, pumpkin puree is so dense that the heat doesn’t penetrate through the whole jar making it very hard to can safely. Water baths, like I did, definitely don’t cut it, but pressure canners aren’t recommended either.
I still have no idea why it fermented so quickly and didn’t just mold. Anyone have ideas?
Anyways, the moral of the story is this: Make the cake, eat it with lots of whipped cream on top and salted caramel, and don’t waste your time on canning pumpkin!
Happy Autumn! :D